How To Mix Styles with Confidence

How To Mix Styles with Confidence

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Eleanor Büsing
Oct 9, 2014
(Image credit: Domaine)

When it comes to furniture, a mix of styles and periods, colors and materials is usually par for the course. Unless you are starting from scratch and can afford to buy every last thing in your home at once, it's normal that your aesthetic will evolve, and at any given time may include inherited items, hand-me-downs, "ok for now" pieces and ones you simply change your mind on later. These days, an eclectic look is one that isn't just occasionally inevitable, but also desirable. The confident mixing of different styles is a skill, so how do you go about acquiring it? Here are a few quick tips for mixing styles with aplomb in your home.

(Image credit: COCOCOZY)

Keep it Monochome
Or at the very least, in the same color family. When the eye isn't distracted by contrasting hues, it can easily blend pieces of varying ages and styles. In the dining room above, the farmhouse table, mid-century seating and industrial pendants look perfect together, because they're all in the same white/silver range.

(Image credit: Maven)

Or... Use Colour to Tie it Together
When carefully applied, color can also make pieces of different shapes or scales play nice. The dining chairs in the table above wouldn't seem so perfectly matched if it wasn't for the green seat cushions on the end chairs. The lighting, which is all in the same orange/copper family, further unifies the room.

(Image credit: The Glitter Guide)

Look for Common Details
Sometimes, the smallest of details are what makes a room work. In the corner above, the unifying story is of vertical lines and metallics. A fairly basic traditional armchair is paired with a Moroccan pouf and a modern, sculptural side table, which echo each other's lines and finish. The striped, sequined throw cushion is the icing on the cake.

(Image credit: Domaine)

Let One Item Take Charge
Conventional design wisdom is that everything in a space should have a "friend" in style, shape or colour, and this may be true for smaller items like side tables and floor lamps. But when we're talking about centrepieces like sofas, dining tables and chandeliers, feel free to go for a one-off, statement piece. The sculptural blue sofa above sings in an otherwise traditional and wood-centric living room, leaving no doubt as to who the boss is.

Do you do much mixing at home, with the style, age or materials of your furniture? What are your best tips for an eclectic interior that feels effortless?

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